Facing Disappointment Head On (by Jen Duffy Ruzicka)

We all face disappointment. I couldnt count the times that I have been disappointed in my life. Disappointment comes in all forms – our children, spouses, relationships, friendships or even ourselves. Many times we find that we are our own worse enemy and so we sit in our self pity and disappointment.

As I write Im thinking of my most recent disappointments. Theres been a few. So heres what Ive come up with so far:

1. Im disappointed that July, very likely, will be my last visit to New Mexico for awhile.

2. Up until Sunday, I was disappointed that we hadnt found a church.

3. I’m disappointed that I will be missing out on a fabulous womens conference this year.

Im actually suprised. I was certain that I would have had a lot more than just three…Guess life is looking up! I’m sure that I could have come up with alot more; however, if it was what I chose to focus my energy and attention on. In the grand scheme of things, I have very little to be disappointed about. Sure, things dont always go my way but am I willing to watch life pass me by because people, situations, or things dont perform up to the standard that I was expecting? No!

Jesus had disappointments. I can only imagine the frustration and disappointment that he felt as he dealt with the disciples, pleaded with the Romans, or even the disappointment he felt towards his Father as he hung from the cross. One thing always happened – HE SURRENDERED!

Jesus surrendered his desires to God’s will in prayer – He SURRENDERED! Not half heartedly, not just a snippet – all the way surrendered to God’s plan until he finally gave his life for ours.

There are several people in our family that constantly let us down. After years of disappointments, I finally have gotten to the point where Im not disappointed anymore. I have come to accept that they are people who will never show up when you need them, they’ll never call when you want them to,and they bring hurt and distruction to those around them. I felt this sting the most during my engagment to my husband. During my shower much of my family failed to show up. I was beside myself with sadness – mostly due to the lack of a simple phone call. When my wedding day finally arrived I was way past the disappointment. Somewhere, within those few months, I realized that it was my wedding day and it didnt matter who was there. Really, as long as Dan showed up I was good;) Now, if he had failed to show – well, thats a different story!

The bottom line is that people are going to let us down. We each hold people to a certain standard. Usually that standard is a higher standard than what we hold ourselves to. Then, when they fail to meet our standard, we get all bent out of sorts and disappointment or anger sets in. Many times our relationships suffer or even end. I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father accepts us regardless of our failures. I cannot count the many times that I have let people down. I’m not in denial – I know that I let people down. I fail to make the call, send a card or pictures (sorry Brenda) and I just have to let it go, ask for forgiveness and move on. Im only human… God accepts us with all of our scars, failures, and mistakes.

This weekend we heard a Pastor speak on love. I’ve spoken of the importance of love many times in this blog and I will mention it again. Love is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we must show people; even when they let us down. Just as Christ overlooks our failures or our lack of meeting his standards; we must overlook others failures too.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:8-10 (New International Version).

We have been shown grace, we have been given forgiven, and God continues to have faith in us. Let us show those around us the same. It is only through our actions, our response to disappointment – that others will truly see the face of God.

Love to all – Jen


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